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Botox Injections May Lead to Weight Loss

Update Date: Oct 04, 2013 02:39 PM EDT

Who needs liposuction and bariatric surgery? New research reveals that Botox, more commonly known as the miracle wrinkle eliminator, may help people lose weight.

A new study shows that Botox injections can lead to significant weight loss in rats. Researchers said that the findings suggest that Botox could one day be used as an alternative to treating morbid obesity by replacing costly and dangerous operations.

Experiments show that treatments with Botox injected into the vagus nerve in the stomach helped rats eat less and lose 20 percent to 30 percent of their body weight.

Researchers explain that the treatment paralyzes the vagus nerve, which triggers the sense of hunger and controls the passing of food through the intestines. Paralyzing the nerve paralyzes muscle in the stomach, which slows the passage of food through the stomach. Researchers said this effect could potentially lead to treatments that cause people to feel fuller for longer.

Researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology hope to win approval for human testing. Lead researcher Helene Johannessen, a PhD candidate at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, says that her team will start human clinical trails as soon as Norwegian authorities give their approval.

"As a start, we will be inviting patients who are candidates for obesity operations but who, for one reason or another, cannot undergo one," Johannessen said in a news release.

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